I dug a little deeper in my imagination today to flesh out more details for the fictional world of my book. World building is exciting and overwhelming for me. My world started out as a rather vague concept. The deeper I plunge into my writing, the more aware I become of how important building the right world for my novel is.
I wanted to share the process I used today in my world building exercise. Feel free to borrow what is helpful to you and ignore the rest.
- Panic. What if this world doesn’t make sense to the reader? Why did I chose to write a book that required a fictional world? Why didn’t I spend more time planning this out before I started writing? Panic session complete. Now, get over it and dig in.
- Think out loud. Otherwise known as walking around the house talking to myself out-loud about my book, my characters, and their world. Sounds crazy? Yes. Looks crazy? Yes. It works wonders for me. Sometimes, I even record myself so that I can refer back to some of the fabulous ideas that pop up during my talking time.
- Paper Brainstorm: I drew 12 circles on a blank sheet of paper. I filled in the circles with information about my world. I drew lines to connect the information circles that were related. I made notes that will never make sense to anyone but me. The panic has subsided, excitement brews and my fab world is taking shape.
- Write an Overview: Time to put those ideas into the computer. I started out by typing my answers to these simple questions. They served as great starting points for my overview. This is where my world building started to take shape. The overview also serves as a great reference point while writing the novel.
- Where did this world come from?
- Who created this world?
- Why was this world created?
- When was this world created?
- How was this world created?
- What type of government does this world have?
- What is the purpose of this world?
- Who lives in this world?
- Why do they live in this world?
- What does it look like?
- What does it feel like?
- Research. While writing my world overview I discovered I needed more information about certain topics. I made a list of the areas I needed to research before plunging into the internet. This helps me stay focused when I go online. I am less likely to end up on Pinterest pinning recipes that have nothing to do with my research.
- Revise Overview: Using my new research I tweaked a few things in my world overview to reflect the changes needed .
- Write a Scene: Next, I grabbed two of my characters and plunged them into the world. This scene may not make it into my book but it helped me grasp how my world looks in the context of my story. Some new issues my world popped into focus from writing this scene. I then added a few new details to my world overview. All the bits and pieces are falling into place. My vauge idea is becoming a world.
Whew. World building work over for today! I made some great progress on my world and I had fun doing it. What helps you during your own world building process?